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Luke Air Force Base was named after Second Lieutenant Frank Luke (1897–1918).Lt Luke is a posthumous Medal of Honor recipient and the number two United States ace in World War I.
In addition to flying and maintaining the F-16, Luke airmen also deploy to support on-going operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and to combatant commanders in other locations around the world.Luke Air Force Base (IATA: LUF, ICAO: KLUF, FAA LID: LUF) is a United States Air Force base located seven miles (11 km) west of the central business district of Glendale, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States.It is also about 15 miles (24 km) west of Phoenix, Arizona.Luke AFB is a major training base of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC), training pilots in the F-16 Fighting Falcon.On 31 March 2011 it was announced that the F-35 Lightning II would replace the F-16 as the primary training aircraft at Luke, although the date of deployment of the new aircraft to Luke and reorganization plans were not announced.An integral part of Luke's F-16 fighter pilot training mission is the Barry M. The range consists of 1,900,000 acres (7,700 km) of airspace where pilots practice air-to-air maneuvers and engage simulated battlefield targets on the ground.
Roughly the size of Connecticut, the immense size of the complex allows for simultaneous training activities on nine air-to-ground and two air-to-air ranges.
Also, the private sector in Glendale has been helping to maintain the buffer of public land, and with it the Arizona defense economy.
This is because if encroachment impacts a site’s mission, it loses value for the military operation, and base closure is more likely to occur.
The base population includes about 7500 military members and 15,000 family members.
With about 80,000 retired military members living in greater Phoenix, the base services a total population of more than 100,000 people.
Then-Captain Barry Goldwater served as director of ground training the following year.